We are all part of God’s family portrait

Do you like to look at old family photos? It seems I have had to do a lot of that lately. Sorting through family photos is hard for me. I go through many emotions with joy, laughter and tears. I also have a profound realization of the brevity of time.

It seems only a few years ago I was planning my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Time passed, and I planned my parents’ 50th. Now our children have given us the same parties.

Looking through family photos reminds me of my spiritual heritage, which I never take for granted. My grandfather prayed his heart out in that little country church in his little town. He was a spiritual giant for as long as I can remember.

My father had a tremendous influence on many lives in his earthly journey. When he went to his eternal home, I received almost 100 cards from those whose lives he touched.

I have been blessed with a heritage that sustains me in those early morning hours, reminiscing from days gone by. I remember Deuteronomy 4:31: “… because the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you. He will not forget the agreement with your ancestors, which he swore to them.” (NCV)

The Lord will be your guide, too. He was for my grandfather and my father. He will be for you and me. “For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:14).

As I sort through the family photos, I realize that a life filled with love for God, family and friends is a life that is blessed indeed. When one comes to the end of life, this is all that really matters … a life that has lived unselfishly and a life that has lived a life of love for God, family and friends.

I arranged the pictures and looked at each one, remembering some hard times and difficult places. I also remember the faithfulness of God, who brought each one through the trial and to the triumph.

God’s photograph album contains those whose hearts have been broken and whose dreams have been shattered. Yet deep scars are evidence of great love. Who knows that better than Jesus? God’s album contains portraits of those who have persevered anyway … those who have stayed in the race and have been found faithful.

I’m proud of my family pictures. They encourage me to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 KJV).

Won’t it be great? We will be reunited with loved ones who have already gone home. What a new family portrait it will be! The “Light” of God’s glory will never end.

“An Album of Memories”

Going through my photos

I stopped to look and then,

Days of old my life appeared,

While blessing me again.

I lingered on some pictures

Of those no longer here.

I thanked God for the time I had

With those I hold so dear.

I found Granddaddy’s Bible.

The pages were old and torn.

Yet my name is written in it

The day that I was born.

I closed my book of memories.

Our lives are short at best.

So fill your life with goodness

And God will do the rest.